As I mentioned in my cancer and finances post, the last time we were faced with a cancer diagnosis, I practically quit my job by reducing my hours to 1-2 days per week. I needed to be there for Mr. German, plus I was too upset to work more than that.
This was doable because my old company was a small ~25 person company. They knew that either they let me work reduced hours, or I’d quit.
Now, I work for a large international company with a HR department. My employer does not do reduced hours. It’s pretty much I work my hours or they find someone else who can.
So, it’s time to quit!
I still need to meditate on this, but it seems to be the best way for us to bring simplicity to our lives.
Mr. German and I work far away from each other, and we both have long commutes in opposite directions. In the near past, we have had lots of stress and arguments about where to live. If I quit, we are no longer bound to this town and will move within walking/biking distance of Mr. German’s office. Thus, optimizing our lives (as Mr. Money Mustache would say).
Of course, it seems maybe counter intuitive for the non-sick one of us to quit. At first I also assumed it would be better if Mr. G quits so that he can focus on getting well. But, depending on how things go, Mr. G may end up going on sick leave. There’s no sick leave if there’s no job!
Sick leave may be inevitable, and the security of a steady stream of income during a time where we need income is very helpful. We can be frugal and wind down our expenses, but we cannot afford to skimp on organic food or alternative treatments which cost $$$.
Mr. G also makes almost twice as much as I do. So giving his income up to live on mine may not be so smart. He also works less than me and has more flexibility (!), but is not able to freelance.
My job on the other hand, is not so flexible but there is a strong precedent of going freelance.
By quitting my job, I mean quitting on very good terms and then negotiating a freelancer’s contract. I would need my current employer to convert to my big client. This should be doable.
I’m scared though, and need some encouraging words!
It’s a bit of a delicate situation, as I’ve only been working at my company for a year. I’ve tried to bring more flexibility into my job by asking for more home-office days (denied), and that raise that I asked for is currently being pushed.
Going freelance now could be offsetting to my bosses. Especially because I haven’t really ‘put in my time’ yet. From my company’s perspective, I’m still *new* and not very experienced.
I do have some good things going for me to negotiate a freelancing contract though, but it all boils down to handling it correctly and not coming across as screwing them over while using Mr. German as an excuse.
I very much like my job, so actually spent the day crying about it (today is my work-from-home day, so it’s fine). I needed to release the stress and clear my head. It took a lot for me to get here, and to give it up seems almost criminal. I’m also not the homemaker type – I like to have [paid] work.
Things are happening so fast here, I don’t even know if I’m thinking straight.
But I do know that I’ve been meaning to freelance in a few years, so why not now? Yeah it’s a bit early, but I have a good and valid reason to go freelance, that no one should take offense over.
Worst case scenario is that I go freelance and lose my company as my client, and then won’t get re-hired as a regular employee. I think this is very unlikely.
No – worst case scenario is that Mr. German gets sicker, or that I get sick from exhaustion of having to balance it all. That is much worse, and more likely if things continue this way.
Cancer is a big wake up call that something needs to change ASAP. It’s not about something happening *to* you. It’s about taking control and seeing what you can do to make it better. These steps are not always easy, but such is life.